2020 NFL Draft Quarterback Breakdown

by Tyler Mulligan
2020 NFL Draft Quarterback Breakdown

There were 13 quarterbacks taken in the 2020 NFL Draft. In the 2020 NFL Draft Quarterback Breakdown, we’ll look at the top gunslingers of this year’s class and analyze their fantasy value as rookies.

Some will become household names. Others will fall into obscurity, never to be heard from again.

The success of rookie quarterbacks is dependent on several factors, including skillset, scheme fit, offensive personnel, and injuries. Taking into consideration these variables is paramount in assessing fantasy viability.

It’s time to look into the fantasy football crystal ball to predict the future of the newest members of the NFL fraternity.

2020 NFL Draft Quarterback Breakdown

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Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Cincinnati Bengals, No. 1 overall

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2019 stats:

  • 76.3% completion rate
  • 5,671 yards passing
  • 60 touchdowns
  • 6 interceptions

The Cincinnati Bengals have found the face of their franchise in Joe Burrow. After a historic 2019 campaign leading the LSU Tigers to a National Championship, Burrow has inherited the Bengals offense.

As a multi-faceted quarterback, Burrow can shake pressure while keeping his eyes downfield, zeroing in on the open receiver. This is vital since he’ll be behind an offensive line that had issues stopping the pass rush last season.

Cincinnati has a well-established receiving corps, headlined by Pro Bowler A.J. Green. Tyler Boyd accumulated over 1,000 yards last season in Green’s absence, cementing himself as a valuable fantasy option. The Bengals also have John Ross with elite speed stretching the field.

Tee Higgins was drafted in the second round by Cincinnati and offers Burrow a towering target in redzone looks.

Joe Mixon was profiled as a 3-down back coming out of college, but Andy Dalton didn’t utilize his running backs in the passing game as much as he could have. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was targeted immensely by Burrow last season. Expect Mixon to see an uptick in targets going forward.

While quarterbacks don’t usually get drafted highly in fantasy, Burrow is an intriguing option in later rounds of redraft leagues. With quality receivers at his disposal, Burrow can easily be a top-12 QB. He’s the only quarterback in this year’s class that will start on day one without question.

The Bengals are in a stout AFC North division and will be competing against Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. Expect Cincinnati to be playing from behind. This bodes well for Burrow’s fantasy value.

In dynasty leagues, Burrow holds value both immediately and in the future. At 23 years old, he’s older than Lamar Jackson and Sam Darnold, but this shouldn’t hurt his draft capital as a can’t-miss rookie.

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Miami Dolphins, No. 5 overall

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2019 stats:

  • 71.4% completion rate
  • 2,840 yards passing
  • 33 touchdowns
  • 3 interceptions

If it wasn’t for sustaining a hip injury in 2019, Tagovailoa might have been the first-overall pick in the draft. As a result of his questionable durability, Tua dropped into the hands of the Dolphins.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the perfect mentor for the Alabama project to learn from. He’s a veteran journeyman, who is still able to make magic happen on the field.

With a capable quarterback like Fitzpatrick at the helm, Tua will likely sit for most of the season if not the entirety of it, considering his recent injury history.

Miami’s top wide receiver, DeVante Parker, finally broke out with a 1,202-yard performance in 2019. Mike Gesicki also had a solid year as Miami’s TE1, registering 51 receptions. These two players have proven their worth as fantasy options going forward, but outside of Parker and Gesicki, Miami lacks offensive weapons for Tua.

During the draft, Miami shored up gaps in their offensive line as well as their defense, but from a fantasy standpoint, didn’t target heavy hitters outside of Tagovailoa.

Despite Tua’s talent, there are several quality quarterbacks already starting in the league. Currently, it doesn’t make much sense to pick Tua in redraft leagues.

In dynasty leagues, he’s a much more valuable option.

Tua has arguably the highest ceiling of all QBs in this year’s draft class. Now that the Dolphins have their quarterback of the future, they’ll be able to address the needs surrounding Tua, including receivers.

Anything can happen in the NFL. Fitzpatrick has shown he can become Fitzmagic but can turn into Fitztragic just as fast. Only time will tell how fast Tua will become relevant in fantasy circles.

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Los Angeles Chargers, No.6 overall

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2019 stats:

  • 66.8% completion rate
  • 3,471 yards passing,
  • 32 touchdowns
  • 6 interceptions

Tyrod Taylor is good, but not great.

Herbert is a strategic free agency signing for the Chargers and can help win games today. Tomorrow is another question.

Similar to the situation the Cleveland Browns faced two years ago, Tyrod enters the season as the team’s QB1. Baker Mayfield eventually usurped Taylor as the top quarterback in Cleveland. The same can happen in Los Angeles.

Justin Herbert is doesn’t have the injury history Tagovailoa has. As a result, it’s less likely the Chargers will play Herbert’s development slowly. Depending on what happens during the pre-season Taylor might find himself riding the bench sooner than later.

Either way, Los Angeles has one of the league’s best group of receivers. If it wasn’t for Philip Rivers showing his age last season, the Chargers could have been in playoff contention.

Keenan Allen has been a perennial Pro Bowler for years and is a swiss army knife of a player, who can do it all on the field. Mike Williams had his first 1,000-yard season last year, averaging over 20-yards a catch. Hunter Henry has injury issues, but when he’s healthy, he is one of the most lethal tight ends in the NFL. And then there’s Austin Ekeler.

Ekeler is the best pass-catching back in the league, outside of Christian McCaffery. Having a sure-handed safety valve, like Ekeler is perfect for the confidence of a young quarterback like Herbert.

In redraft leagues, Herbert is currently more valuable than Tua because of durability and receiving talent on the Chargers roster. Whether or not he starts on day one is questionable, however, and because of that shouldn’t be chosen as a starter. There are dozens of starting QBs without competition that fantasy owners can select.

In dynasty leagues, Herbert should be the third rookie QB off the board this year but is more likely to take over a starting spot sooner than Tua.

Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Green Bay Packers, No.26 overall

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2019 stats:

  • 61.9% completion rate
  • 3,402 yards passing
  • 20 touchdowns
  • 17 interceptions

Aaron Rodgers is the same age as Brett Favre was when he was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2005 NFL draft.

While Jordan Love draws comparisons to Rodgers as a result of this similarity, nobody is expecting Love to fill the shoes of his predecessor the way Rodgers did with Favre.

Many analysts believe Green Bay should have helped Rodgers win now by drafting receiving weapons, but the Packers brass is looking towards the future.

Jordan Love had a tough senior season, throwing 17 interceptions. He is a long way from being an NFL starter, but physically he is one of the most impressive talents in this year’s draft.

His arm strength and mobility are ideal, considering where NFL game is trending toward. His decision making, as highlighted by his abundance of interceptions thrown leaves a lot to be desired.

Rodgers is going to be the starter, and he’ll be throwing to one of the best receivers in the league in Davante Adams. Expect Rodgers to play with a chip on his shoulder this year. He’s one of the NFL’s fiercest competitors, and with Love being selected in the first round, he’s bound to come out blazing.

Love is a developmental quarterback and even if Rodgers gets sidelined due to injury, there is no certainty that he’ll be chosen to take over as a replacement.

Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Philadelphia Eagles, No. 53 overall

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2019 stats:

  • 69.7% completion rate
  • 3,851 yards passing
  • 32 touchdowns
  • 8 interceptions

Carson Wentz has injury issues. Since being selected second overall in the 2016 draft, he’s sustained multiple injuries, opening the door for Philadelphia’s backup quarterbacks, including Nick Foles, who went on the win the first Super Bowl in franchise history.

Most recently, Wentz was sidelined with a potential concussion during the NFC wildcard matchup against Seattle, the result of a rattling hit from Jadeveon Clowney.

When Wentz was injured, the Eagles were forced to rely on a 40-year-old Josh McCown.

Hurts will become the second option in Philadelphia immediately. He is a versatile athlete, who can roll out of the pocket and make plays happen with his wheels. He’s not quite as accurate as you’d like for an NFL quarterback, but will have time to develop within Doug Pederson’s creative offense.

Philly drafted Jalen Reagor out of TCU with their first pick, bolstering the receiving corps which was plagued by injuries a year ago. He’ll slide into the Eagle’s fold behind veteran speedster DeSean Jackson and recently acquired Marquise Goodwin. Adding depth at the wide receiver position comes amid fogginess surrounding the status of Alshon Jeffery.

Regardless of whether Jeffery will be an Eagle in the upcoming season, both Wentz and Hurts will have much-needed weapons at receiver.

Although Hurts’ playing time will be completely contingent on Wentz getting injured, if history repeats itself, Hurts could be playing sooner than expected.

Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Indianapolis Colts, No. 122 overall

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2019 stats:

  • 64.2% completion rate
  • 3,132 yards passing
  • 23 touchdowns
  • 8 interceptions

Jacob Eason finds himself in a peculiar position in Indianapolis.

Philip Rivers is at the helm of the Colts offense after the Chargers moved on from the eight-time Pro Bowler.

Eason is a pocket passer with a howitzer of an arm. He can throw the ball through a carwash without the ball getting wet. His issue is with touch and decision-making ability.

As the game evolves, mobile quarterbacks are more important than ever, but if there’s any place a pocket passer can excel, it’s Indy. The offensive line in Indianapolis is one of the best in the league, which will keep both Rivers and Eason — two statues— protected.

Eason also has last year’s starter, Jacoby Brissett to contend with. He’s more mobile than the Rivers and Eason, and he’s shown that he could be an effective starter in the NFL.

At the wideout position, T.Y. Hilton will be the top target. Not only is he a deep threat, Hilton has great hands. At WR2, the Colts have Michael Pittman Jr. who was selected with the No.34 pick in this year’s draft.

They also picked up a bell-cow running back with Jonathan Taylor with the No.41 pick, which will open up the passing game for Indy.

Eason’s issue isn’t weapons — it’s whether he can crack the starting roster. Even if Rivers disappoints, Brissett is a huge obstacle to overcome.

While Eason has potential, he shouldn’t be touched by fantasy owners in upcoming drafts. Even in dynasty leagues, it’s not advisable to pick Eason. By the time he sees the field, we’ll have the next group of quarterbacks entering the league.

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